The National Rifle Association, once one of the most powerful and influential advocacy groups in the U.S., has voluntarily filed for bankruptcy as part of a massive organizational restructuring. The group will move from New York to Texas.
“Today, the NRA announced a restructuring plan that positions us for the long-term and ensures our continued success as the nation’s leading advocate for constitutional freedom – free from the toxic political environment of New York,” the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre said in letter to members. The letter referred to New York as a “toxic political environment” and claimed that little else would change. “Under the plan, the NRA will continue what we’ve always done – confronting anti-gun, anti-self-defense and anti-hunting activities and promoting constitutional advocacy that helps law-abiding Americans. Our work will continue as it always has. No major changes are expected to the NRA’s operations or workforce. ”
The move follows last year’s astonishing lawsuit from New York Attorney General Letitia James, which alleged a $64 million fraud, claiming the NRA diverted charitable donations to irresponsible personal spending on behalf of the executive team.
The NRA’s lobbying might was once vast, unnerving even politicians who liked to talk about gun law reform. But the group’s stubborn inaction in the wake of America’s pre-pandemic spate of mass shootings turned public opinion against them, and the financial scandals stripped them of much of their seeming invincibility. A Texas move feels like an opportunity to regroup, but whether they’ll ever be able to regain their former power remains to be seen.